Since the disgusting effort put forth in Philadelphia, all the people in charge around Valley Ranch have been on a campaign of sorts. Much like our new president the title of their message is "change". Change would be good and well deserved within this team, but much the same way I feel about our new U.S. administration I question whether worthwhile changes will actually take place. Both Jerry Jones and Wade Phillips have said on more than one occasion that they will be making changes, but have yet to give any kind of specifics. Now I understand that they are not going to give us details on upcoming "change", but the details that we are getting are extremely vague. Which leads me to believe that the big time changes that I think need to take place will not!
This is a broken and depleted team, both physically and most notably mentally. The mental state of the Cowboys seems to daily become worse. Recently Terrence Newman continued his assault towards the "anonymous" player that leaked their internal problems to Ed Werder. Terrence calls the player a "coward" and does not seem willing to drop this issue. Bradie James got into the act with an altercation the day after the loss with a fan outside of Valley Ranch. This team is crashing right in front of our eyes! The way they played all year is nothing compared to what is happening right now.
Jerry Jones continues to back the coaching staff, Wade Phillips & Jason Garrett primarily. So the duties of resurrecting the mental state of the Cowboys will be left to Wade. I do not know about you but this whole concept scares the crap out of me! Wade is a good coach, and although he denies being too soft, he is tooooooo soft! Listening to him the other day on The Ticket he talked about "change" and how he needed to change. That is good to hear, but after being pushed to get specific I got a whole different feel. He began talking about "more rules and punishments for those violations" (still sounds good right) he then said that he has always had only two rules "play hard, and be here on time" (at least one of these rules was broken by a lot of people all year long). Norm Hitzges (from the ticket) began to question him about fines and how many times he had to fine players for being late to meetings. Wade gives a typical Wade answer something to the effect of " uh well uh just a few" when pushed further he says this "You know sometimes when we fine the player he does not even know", WHAT? WHAT? Can someone please tell me how the hell this form of punishment works? Let me get this straight! "player" shows up late to a meeting, Wade "fines" him, but the "player" does not know he is fined! Why fine the guy? Does this money go into a pot to buy cookies? Why on earth would anyone be afraid to be late to a meeting? It's easy THEY WOULD NOT BE AFRAID! This guy is in charge of rebuilding the mental state of this football team! WOW! As bad as I hate to say it Cowboy Nation is in DEEEEEEEEEEEEEP trouble!
The players on this team did not respond to the whip cracking style of Bill Parcells. Last year being free from Parcells, the players stepped up and played hard for the new coach. Now their back to what they were with Parcells. This tells me that the players run the roost and no matter who the coach is they will decide what happens. The only cure to this problem is a serious change within the roster! Who goes and who stays? People all like to point to T.O. and Pacman, and that may be the right call but it is hard for me to believe that this entire problem is solely caused by one person! This problem or cancer which ever you prefer has been here longer than T.O. has been here. The first two years that he was with the team he did everything asked of him and by all accounts was a great teammate. I think the problem with this team has been and is the lack of players being concerned for their jobs! Fear of unemployment can do great things. The Cowboys top players for the most part are young guys. They have also been given the keys to the ship without fear of revocation. Example Zach Thomas was brought in this off season to push Bradie James. What happened? Bradie had the best year of his career! Last year the drafting of Anthony Spencer lit a huge flame under the rear end of Greg Ellis and sparked him to his first pro bowl! This team needs players that will push the starters. Players like Romo, Gurode, Adams, Colombo, Davis, Roy Willy, Canty, Spears need to be pushed, they need to believe that if they do not step up their performance they will be either on the bench or on the street! The o-line is the most under achieving, undisciplined, and plain out lazy groups in football. If this group had any kind of fear of being benched I guarantee drastic improvement!
The coaches can implement all the "change" they want (rules, fines, beatings) none of this will work until the players actually BELIEVE that they can be replaced! I really do not care what changes Wade makes to the way he deals with the players. I want to see major roster changes! I want to see Romo fear that he may have to change careers and become a golfer! I want to see this offensive line believe that the next false start maybe their last as a Cowboy! I want to see this Defensive line believe that a missed tackle will put them without a job! The gravy train for these guys needs to end and it needs to end now! No more excuses, from anyone. Make them believe and they will respond.
Cowboys Sign Free Agent WR Deonte Thompson
The Dallas Cowboys added some speed to their receiver corps today by signing free agent Deonte Thompson. He played for both the Chicago Bears and Buffalo Bills last season.
Thompson, who turned 29 last month, went undrafted in 2012. He had a quiet to start to his career as a reserve and practice squad guy in Baltimore and Chicago, but finally got a chance to shine with seven starts last year for the Bills. He 27 catches for 430 yards and one touchdown in just 11 games.
The #Cowboys signed WR Deonte Thompson, per agent @davidcanter. He gets 1-year, $2.5M with a $1M signing bonus.
Deonte brings some much-needed speed to the Cowboys offense. He ran a 4.31 40-yard dash as a rookie, and while he's 29 now he still poses more of a vertical threat than the current Dallas receivers.
Given the low salary in this deal, Thompson may not be seen as much than a replacement for Brice Butler near the bottom of Dallas' depth chart. We also have to wait and see what happens with the draft and other moves this offseason to know where he fits into the bigger picture.
For now, though, Cowboys fans can take a little comfort in knowing the front office hasn't completely fallen asleep at the wheel.
Dallas Cowboys: How “Position-Flex” Has Handcuffed The 2015 Draft Class
Over the last few years the Dallas Cowboys have placed a high level of importance on "position flex." They've drafted Swiss-Army knife players which could be moved around to different positions on the field.
By drafting players like Chidobe Awuzie and Xavier Woods last year, as well as Byron Jones in 2015, the Cowboys have tried to find these versatile players who can be used in multiple ways.
While this seems great on paper, this strategy has handcuffed the majority of their 2015 Draft Class, and is a key reason why the Cowboys seem to be in such a tough spot.
The Cowboys' first round pick in 2015, Byron Jones, quickly became a favorite of mine during his rookie season. Incredibly athletic, long, and skilled in coverage, Jones was able to be both a fantastic cover cornerback and a solid middle-of-the-field safety due to his range.
Due to both injuries to his teammates, and Jones' own versatility, the Cowboys coaching staff couldn't keep Jones in just one spot. Once they discovered how great he was in man coverage against tight ends, they became enamored with trying to play him in the box.
Once in the box, Jones' struggles as a run defender were highlighted, and both the organization and the fans soured on him quickly.
Now it is rumored that Byron Jones will be moving back to cornerback full time. And while I do hope this is the case, the fact that he is in year four, and the Cowboys haven't been able to find their first round pick a permanent home is a huge indictment on their ability to evaluate and develop talent.
Okay, hear me out.
The former third round pick of the 2015 Draft was brought in to be the swing tackle for the Cowboys his rookie year. Mainly due to injuries, Green did not see the field for much of his first two seasons. When he did fill in for Tyron Smith at left tackle in 2016, however, Green was very effective.
Of course, Chaz Green's last appearance with the Cowboys was ugly, giving up a plethora of sacks against the Atlanta Falcons. But Dallas might've made their own bed with Green during the beginning of the 2017 season, when they attempted to move him to left guard full time.
Instead of getting the increased work at tackle, and continuing to work as the swing tackle for the team in case of injury, Dallas started Green at left guard early on in the year. He struggled trying to move positions, and looked even worse when trying to move back to tackle.
Once again, the position flex bit the Cowboys right in the backside.
It's 2018 and we are still talking about what position to play La'el Collins on the offensive line. And that is solely on the coaching staff and front office, not Collins.
Collins was brought in as an undrafted free agent in 2015, but was widely regarded as a first round pick heading into that draft. Though he started at left tackle at LSU, Dallas shifted Collins inside to left guard in 2015. After taking over for Ronald Leary as the starter, Collins produced highlight blocks week after week.
Injuries shortened his 2016 campaign, but heading into 2017 the Cowboys decided to shift him back out to right tackle. Despite some early struggles, Collins progressed nicely throughout the year and became a solid starting right tackle. Plus, he has the upside to become one of the top right tackles in the league.
Instead, it is now being rumored the Cowboys might move him back to guard for 2018. And with that news, I continue to pull my hair out over the position-flex decisions this coaching staff and front office like to make.
If the Cowboys want to get the most out of each draft class, and effectively develop their talent, they need to let those players actually develop, rather than move them around each season. Hopefully they now understand this, and allow both Byron Jones and La'el Collins to reach their full potential.
Dallas Cowboys Sign LB Joe Thomas to 2 Year Deal
At long last, the Dallas Cowboys have their first free agent addition of this offseason. Having lost starters Jonathan Cooper and Anthony Hitchens at left guard and linebacker respectively, the team has added depth at LB with Joe Thomas signing a two-year deal.
The 2018 season will actually mark Joe Thomas' second stint with the Dallas Cowboys, as he was signed to their practice squad in 2015. The team that signed Thomas out of South Carolina State following the 2014 draft, the Green Bay Packers, added Thomas back to their active roster for the 2015 season.
Source: Cowboys have agreed to a 2-year deal with free agent LB Joe Thomas. He visited the Cowboys today. Thomas has played in 42 games over the last three seasons with the Packers. He had a career-high 70 tackles in 2016.
Thomas has spent the last three seasons starting eight games for the Packers, recording 70 tackles and an interception in 2016.
A contingency plan of Sean Lee and Jaylon Smith carrying the Cowboys for 16 games at LB requires adequate depth, which is exactly what the Cowboys are typically in the market for come free agency. Waiting longer than usual to make their first splash, the Cowboys absolutely need an addition like Thomas to perform better than last year's FA class.
Used in sub packages by the Packers while also playing special teams - where the Cowboys have lost core players in Keith Smith and Kyle Wilber - Thomas will have a great chance to impress two new Dallas coaches in Ben Bloom and Keith O'Quinn.
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